VENICE, Fla., July 19, 2006 -- Built to withstand winds of more than 140 mph, the new “hurricane house” at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center features PGT® WinGuard® Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors, as well as other products and construction methods that meet or exceed Florida building codes. The home is one of four such houses around the state.
In the wake of devastating hurricanes during 2004 and 2005, the UF hurricane houses around the state are becoming magnets to educate builders and residents about wind loss mitigation, energy efficiency and environmentally sensitive construction, according to Pierce Jones, Director of the Florida Energy Extension Service at UF in Gainesville, Fla. Additionally, homeowners and builders are learning that hurricane mitigation can translate into lower insurance premiums.
The 3,000 square-foot house -- officially known as the Broward County Windstorm Damage Mitigation Training and Demonstration Center -- is located at 3205 College Avenue in Davie, (954) 577-6300.
Broward and Miami counties require that windows and doors are protected by either shutters or impact-resistant windows and doors and that the products have approval from Miami-Dade Building Product Control. WinGuard with aluminum frames was ideal for this house because the entire line meets these very strict requirements. In fact, PGT helped develop these protocols.
WinGuard windows and doors combine heavy-duty aluminum or vinyl frames with impact-resistant laminated glass. A special silicone glazing process helps keep the glass from breaking away from the frame. Laminated glass is constructed by bonding a tough polyvinylbutyral (PVB) interlayer between two pieces of glass under heat and pressure. Once sealed, the glass “sandwich” behaves as a single unit and is transparent, just like ordinary glass.
Upon impact from wind-borne debris or wind, laminated glass adheres to the interlayer, keeping the glass intact within the frame. The opening is not penetrated because of the strength and energy-absorbing capability of the interlayer. PGT pioneered the U.S. impact-resistant window and door industry and today is the nation’s leading manufacturer and supplier of residential impact-resistant windows and doors.
PGT is also one of the largest window and door manufacturers in the United States. In its 25th year, the company employs approximately 2,400 at its 485,000-square-foot manufacturing and glass laminating and tempering plants, and delivery fleet facilities in Venice, Fla., and its 225,000-square-foot production facility in Lexington, N.C. Sold through a network of over 1,300 independent distributors, the company’s total line of custom windows and doors is now available throughout the eastern United States, the Gulf Coast and in a growing international market, which includes the Caribbean, South America and Australia. PGT’s product line includes PGT® Aluminum and Vinyl Windows and Doors; WinGuard® Impact-Resistant Windows and Doors; Multi-Story Series 800 Windows and Doors; and Eze-Breeze® Sliding Panels.